Airbus’ vision for future high-speed helicopters has fixed wings

June 4, 2024
The Racer demonstrator cruises at speeds approaching 250 miles per hour.

MARSEILLE, France - Airbus flew its strange helicopter-airplane hybrid called Racer for the first time in Marseille, France. The aerospace manufacturer categorizes the aircraft as a high-speed compound helicopter demonstrator. Unlike conventional helicopters, the Racer features fixed wings with control surfaces and propulsive propellers. The maiden flight was only 30 minutes long but Airbus aims to open the Racer’s flight envelope over the next two years as development continues, Ryan Erik King writes for JalopnikContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

4 June 2024 - Designed to cruise at speeds exceeding 400 km/h, the Racer aims to strike a balance between speed, cost-efficiency, and mission performance. It targets a 20% reduction in fuel consumption compared to helicopters of similar class, owing to aerodynamic enhancements and an innovative eco-mode propulsion system developed in collaboration with Safran Helicopter Engines. This hybrid-electrical system allows one of the two engines to be paused during cruise flight, reducing CO2 emissions. Additionally, the Racer seeks to showcase how its design can minimize operational noise.

Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, highlighted the collaborative effort behind the Racer, citing it as a testament to what European partnerships can achieve. "With its 90 patents, Racer is the perfect example of the level of innovation that can be achieved when European partners come together," Even remarked.

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Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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